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Full text of "A caution and warning to Great-Britain and her colonies, in a Short representation of the calamitous state of the Enslaved negroes in the British Dominions : Collected from various Authors, and submitted to the Serious consideration of all, more especially of those in power"

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Her Colonies, 



O F T H E 



Enslaved NEGROES 

in the British 


CoIleSed from various Authors, and fubmiN 
ted to the Serious CONSIDER ^TiON 
of ALL, more cfpeclally cf THOSE in 

Bv A N T. B E N 

E z E r. 

.P H I L A D .£> L P H T A : Prinre^l bv Henry Mi.i.lep.j 
•in SrcoiTd-Strect, M DCC LXVL 


• / / 

[ 3 ]^ 



AT a time when the general rights and liberties 
of mankind, and the prefervation of thofe va- 
luable privileges tranfmitced to us from our 
anceftors, are become fo muchchefubjedtsofuniverfal 
confideration ; can it be an inquiry indifferent to any, 
how many of thofe who diftinguifh themfelves as the 
Advocates of Liberty, remain infenfible and inatten- 
tive to the treatment of thoufands and tens of thoufands 
of our fellow- men, wlio, from motives of avarice, and 
the inexorable degree of tyrant cuftom, are at this ve- 
ry time kept in the moft deplorable ilate of flavery, 
in many parts of the Britiih Dominions. 

The intent of publifhing the following flieets, is 
more fully to make known the aggravated iniquity 
attending the pradlice of the Slave-Trade ; whereby 
many thoufands of our fellow- creatures, as free as 
ourfclves by nature, and equally with us the fubjeds 
of Chrift's redeeming grace, are yearly brought into 
inextricable and barbarous bondage; and many, very 
many, to miferable and untimely ends. 

The truth of this lamentable complaint is fo obvious 
to perfons of candour, under whofe notice it hath 
fallen, that feveral have lately publiHied their fcnti- 
ments thereon •, as a matter which calls for the moft 
ferious confideration of all who are concerned for the 
civil or religious welfare of their country. How an 
evil of fo deep a dye, hath fo long, not only pafTed 
ijnintcrrupted by I'hgfe in Power, but hath even had 

A z their 

[4 1 

ihcir -fonntenance, h, indeed, furprifing, and, charity 
y^ouid ruppole, muil, in a great meafure, have «ri:<rf? 
from this, that many periods in government, both of 
the Clergy and Laity, in whofe po^er it hath been to 
put a ftop to the Trade, }uyc be^n unacquainted wich 
the. corrupt nriotivr* Vv'hich gives liie, and the 
groans, the dying groans, vJ>ich daily dkiind to God, 
the corrmt^n Father of niTinkind, from the brols^n 
hearts of thofe his deeply cpprefTed creatures-, o'ther-^- 
wife the poWer§ of the earth would not, I think I may ■ 
Vi-nture t^ lAy, could not, h^^ve fo" long authorifed a inconfiitent with rvery id^:a of hberty and 
juftice, which, ^as the learned James Fofter fays, Buh 
that God, i[^)htcb is the Gcd ancl Father of tlye Gentiles, 
unrmTe^tedtoCbrtfttantty, rrfofi daring and hold defi.^.nce \ 
and f-purm dz all the prifteipks both of ricitural and re- 

i4uch mit/ht iufllv be faid bf rhe temooral evils wliicl^ 
^teftd thiS practice, asit is deilruGtive of t\vt welfare of 
humao fccicty, and oi the peace 2,ndi profperity of every 
roonrry, in proportion as it prevails. It might be alio 
ihewn, that "it deftmys the bonds of natural affr6tion 
and intereH, whereby mankind in general are united , 
thfit it introduces idlenefs, difcouras^es^ marrias^e, cor- 
rupts the youth, ruitis and debauches morais, excites 
continual rpprehenfions of danger.';, and freqiient 
alarms, to which the Whites are neceiTarily expofed 
from fo great anencreafe of a people, riiat, by their 
bondage and opprefTions, become natural enemies, yet, 
at the fame time, arc filling the places and eating the 
bread jof thofe who would be the fu pport and fecurity 
of rne country. But a« thefe and many more refieclions 
of the fame kind, may occur to a confiderate mind, 
! fhall only endeavbur to ihew, fronuhe nature of the 


r 5 ] 

Trade, the plenty which Guinea affords its inhablfailts, 
the barbarous treatment ot the .Negroes, and the ob- 
fervations made thereon by authors of note, that it is 
inconfiftent with the piainefr precepts of the gofpe], 
the flidbares of reafon, and every common fentiment af 

' In an account of the F.uropean Setttlements in Ame- 
rici^, printed in London, 1.757, -^"^^ author fpeaking 
on this fubje'ft, lays: ^ The Negroes in our Colonies 

* endure a^lavery more ccmplaat and attended with far 
^' worte circiLinftanccS than, what any people in their 

* condition luffcr in any other part of the world, or 

* have fuffered in any other [xrriod of time: proofs of 
^ this are not wantmj:^. The orodioricus wallie which 
^ we experience m this unhappy part of our fpecies, is 
''..a full and -melancholy evidence of this truth. The 
' Ifiand of Barbados, (the Negroes upon which do 
'not amount to eighty thouiand) notwithilanding all 
^ the means v/hich thev ufe to encreafe them by nro- 

* pagation, and that the climate is in every rcipedl 
^ (except tiiat ot being more wholefome) exactly re- 

* fembling the climate from v;hcnce they come; not- 

* withftanding all- this, Barbados lies under a necef- 
^ fity of an annual recruit of five thoufand flavef, to 

* keep up the ifock at the number I have m.entioned. 
' This prodigious failure, which is at leafc in the fame 
' proportion in all our lilands, fliewsdem.onifrativeiy 
' that Tome uncommon and unlupportable hardlhip 

* lies upon the Negroes, which wears them down in 

* fuch a furprifing manner ; and this, I imagine, i.s 

* principally theexcelTive labour which they undergo.' 
In an account of part ot North- America, publiOied by 
'Thomas JcfFery, printed 176^1, fpeakingof the ufage 
ihe Negroes receive in the Weft-India lilands, thus 


C 6 ] 

cxpreffes himfelf : ' It's impoffible for a human hearC 

* to refled upon the fervitude of thefe dregs of man- 

* kind, without in fomemeafure feeling for their mi- 

* fery, which ends but with their hves. Nothing 

* can be more wretched than the condition of this 
' people. One would imagine, they were framed to 

* be the difgrace of the human fpecies, banilhed from 

* their country, and deprived of that bleffingLiber- 

* ty, on which all other nations. fet the greateft value, 

* they are in a manner reduced to the condition of 

* beads of buruen : In general a few roots, potatoes 

* efpecially, are their food, and two rags, which neither 
' fcreen them from the heat of the day, nor the extra- 

* ordinary coolnefs of the night, all their covering; 

* their lleep very fhort; their labour almoil continual^ 
' they receive no wages, but have twency lafhes for 

* the fraalleft fault/ 

A confiderate young perfpn who was late in one of 
our Weft- India Illands, where he obferved the mife- 
rable fituation of the Negroes, makes the following re-* 
marks, ' I meet with daily exercife, to fee the treatment 

* which thefe miferable wretches meet with from their 

* mafiers, with but few exceptions. They whip them 
' mofr unmerciful ly, on fmall occafions. They beat 

* them with thick clubs, and you will fee their bodies 
« all whaled and fcarred •, infhort, they feem to fee no 
< other value on their lives than as they cod them 
^ fo much money, and are not reftrained trom kill- 

* ing them, when angry, by a worthier confideration 

* than that they lofe io much. They ail as tho' they 

* Old not look upon them as a race of human crea- 

* tures, who have reafon,and remembrance ot mil- 

* fortunes, but as bcalh, like oxen, who are flubborn^ 
s hardy and fealekfs -, fit for burdens, and defigned to 

*^ beai; 

C 7 ] 
bear them. They won't allow them to have any claim 
to human privileges, or fcarce, indeed, to be regarded 
as the work of God. Tho' it was confident with the 
juftice of our Maker to pronounce the fentence on our 
common parent, and thro' him on all fucceeding ge- 
nerations, ^hat he and they foould eat their bread by 
thefweat of their brow ; yet, does it not Hand record- 
ed by the fame eternal truth, nat the Labourer i^ 
worthy of his hire? It cannot be allowed in natural 
juftice that there fliould be a fervitude without con- 
dition : A cruel endlefs fervitude. It cannot be re- 
concileable to natural juftice, that whole nations; 
nay whole continents of men, iliouldbe devoted to 
do the drudgery of life for others, be dragged awav 
from their attachments of relations and iocieties j 
and made to ferve the appetites and pleafures of a 
race of men whofe fuperiority h^s been obtained bv 
an illegal forc^/ 
A particular account of the treatment thefe unhap- 
py Africans receive in the Weft-Indies, was lately 
publifhed, which even by thofe who, blinded b\< 
intercft, feek excufes for the Trade, and endeavour 
to palliate the cruelty exercifed upon them, is allowed 
to be a true, tho' rather too favourable reprefentation 
of the ufage they receive, which is as follows, viz. 

* The iniquity of the Slave-trade is greatly aggra- 

* vated by the inhumanity with which the Negroes 

* arc treated in the Plantations, as well withre(pectt© 
' food and cloathing, as from the unreafonable labour 
^ which is commonly exacted from them. To which 
' mjy be add^d the cruel chaftifements they frequently 

* fuffer, witnout any other bounds than the will and 
' wrath of their hard taik-mafters. In Barbados, and 
' fom.e other of the IQ and S;, fix pints of Indian corn 

' and 

{ s ] 

sjfiJ three herrings are reckoned a full week's allow* 

ance for a working Have, and in the Syittrtivot;Ge(> 

grapfhy it is laid, That in Jamaicsi the'owner.s oftbi 

Negroe-fidves^fet afide for each a fared of groarid, an I 

allow them Sundays to iiianure it-, the produce of-wki(fl\ 

with Ibmetimcs a few^ or other iAi iilh, is 

all that is allowed for their fupport. Ihcir allow ance 

for cloathifig in the Klands is ieldom more than {\yL 

yards of oienbrigf? each year : and in the more 

northern Cciopies, where the piercing wefherly winds 

are long and fenfibly felt, thcie poor Africans fuller 

much for want of furHcient cloathing, indeed forne 

have none till they are able to pay tor it by their 

labour. The time that the Negroes work in the 

Wed-Indies, is from day- break till noon ; then ag^ia 

fro;n two o'clock till dufk: (during which time 

they are attended by overfeers, who ftverely fcourge 

thofe who appear to them dilatory) and bctore 

they are fuftered to go to their quarters, they have 

(till fomething to do, as colleding of herbage for 

the horfes, gatlie ring. fuel for the boilers, &c. fothac 

it is often half p;ift twelve before they can get home, 

when they have fcarce time to grind and boil their 

Indian corn; whereby it often happens that they are 

^ called again to labour before they can fatisfy their 

* huncer : and here no delay or excufe will avail, for 

' if they are not in the field immediately upon th^ 

' ukial nodce, they mutl: exped to feci the overfeers 

^ laib. In crop-time (which lads many months) they 

"^ are obliged (by turns) to work moil: of the night i« 

*• the boiling-houfe. Thus their owners, from a defire 

« of making th,e greateft gain by thejabour of th^ir 

(laves, lay heavy burdens on them, and yet ^^t(^ and 

^ clothe them very fparingly, and fgnie fcarce feed or 

' clothe 

t 9 1 

clothe tVem at all, fo that the poor creatUres ar^ 
oblicred to [hi ft for their Jivins; in the bed manner 
they can, which occafions their being often killed 
in the neighbouring lands, ftealing potatoes, or 
other food, to fatisfy their hunger. And if they take 
any thing from the plantation^ they belong to^ tho' 
under fuch prefTifig want, their owners will correct 
them fevcrely, for taking a little of what they have 
fo hardly laboured fof, whilft they themfeives riot 
in the greatefl luxury and excefs;— -It is a matter of 
aftonifliment, how a people who^ as a nation, are 
looked upon as generous and humane, and fo much 
value th^mfelVes for their uncommon fenfe of the 
benefit of Liberty, can live in the praftice of fuch 
extreme oppreflj on and inhumanity, without feeing 
the inconfiLtcncy of fuch condu6l, and without kcU 
ing great remorfe : Nor ia it lefs amazing to hear 
thef^ m^n calmly making calculations about the 
ftrength and lives of their fellow-^men ; in Jamaica, 
if fix in ten, of tht new imported Negroes furvive 
the feafonine,- it is looked upon as a gaining pu re hafe: 
And in moft of the other plantations^ if the Negroes 
live eight or nine years, their labour is reckoned a 
fufficicnt compenfation for their coft.-^ — If calcu- 
lations of this fort were made upon the ftrength and 
labour of bcafls of burden it would not appear fo 
ftrange, but even then a merciful man would cer- 
tainly ufe his beafl: with more mercy than h ufually 
fl^ewn to the poor Negroes* — Will not the groans 
of this deeply afSided and opprefTed people reach 
heaven, and Nvhcn the cup of iniquity is full, muft 
not the inevitable confea.uence be pouring forth of 
the judgments of God upon their opprefTors. But, 
aUs ! k it not too manifcft thiit this oppreffion has 

B * aU 

[ 10 ] 

* already longbeen the objed of the divine difpleafiirc^ 
^ for what heavier judgment, what greater calamity 
' can befall any people, than to become a prey to that 
' hardnefs of heart, that forgetfulnefs of God, and 
' infenbility to every religious imprefTion -, as well as 

* that general depravation of manners, which fo much 
' prevails in the Colonies, in proportion as they have 
' more or lels enriched themfelves, at the cxpencc 

* of the blood and bondage of the Negroes.' 

The fituation of the Negroes in our Southern pro- 
vinces on the Co^itinent, is alfo feelingly fet forth by 
George Whitefield, in a letter from Georgin, to the 
inhabitants of Maryland, Virginia, North- and South- 
Carolina, printed in the year 1739, ^^ which the fol- 
lowing is an extradl^ ' As I lately pafTed through your 
provinces, in my way hither, I was fenfibly touched 
with a fellow-feeling of the miferies of the poor Ne- 
groes. Whether it be lawful for Chriflians to buy 
flaves, and thereby encourage the nations from 
whom they are bought, to be at perpetual war with 
each other, I fhall not take upon me to determine ; 
fure I am, it is fmful, when bought, to ufc them as 
bad, nay worfe, than as though they were brutes ; 
and whatever particular exception there may be, (as 
I would charitably hope there are fome) I fear the 
generality of you, that own Negroes, are liable to 
luch a charge; for your flaves, I believe, work as 
hard, if not harder, than the horfes whereon you ride. 
Thefe, after they have done their work, are fed and 
taken proper care of i but many Negroes, when wea- 
ned with labour, in your plantations, have been 
obliged to grind their own corn, after they return 
home ; your dogs are carelTed and fondled at your 
tables i but your flaves, who are frequently ftiled 


C II ] 

dogs or beads, have not an equal privilege ; they 
arc fcarce permitted to pick up the crumbs which 
fall from their mailer's table. — Not to mention what 
numbers have been given up to the inhuman ufage 
of cruel tafk-mafters, who, by their unrelenting 
fcourges, have ploughed their b^cks, and made long 
furrows, and at length brought them even to death. 
When pafiing along, I have viewed your plantations 
cleared and cultivated, many fpacious houfes built, 
and the owners of them faring fumptuoufly every 
day, my blood has frequently almoft run cold with- 
in me, to confider how many of your flaves had 
neither convenient food to eat, or proper raiment to 
put on, notwithftanding moil of the comforts you 
enjoy were folely owing to their indefatigable la- 
bours. — The Scripture fays. Thou flialt not muzzle 
the ox that treadeth out the corn. Does God take 
care for oxen ; and will he not take care of the Ne- 
groes alfo ? undoubtedly he will — Go to now ye 
rich men, weep and howl for your miferies that 
fhall come upon you : Behold the provifion of the 
poor Negroes, who have reaped down your fields,^ 
which is by you denied them, crieth; and the cries 
of them, which reaped, are entered into the ears of 
the Lord of Sabaoth. We have a remarkable in- 
fiance of God's taking cognizance of, and avenging 
the quarrel of poor flaves, ^Sam. xxi. i. There was 
a famine in the days of David, three years, year af- 
ter year-, and David enquired of the Lord: And 
the Lord anfwered, It is for Saul, and his bloody 
houfe, becaufe he flew the Gibeonites. Two things 
are here very remarkable : Firft, Thefe Gibeonite-s 
were only hewers of wood and drawers of wat-er, or 
in other words^ (laves like yours. Secondly, That 

U 2, * thi^ 

f this plague was fent by God many years after the 

* injury, the caufe of the plague, was committed. 
^ And for what end were this and fuch like examples 
^ recorded in holy Scrlpl;ures, without doubt, for our 
^ learning. — For God is the fame to-day, as he was 

* yeflerday, and will continue the fame for ever. He 
^ does not rejed the prayer of the poor and deftitute •, 

* nor difregard the cry of the meaned Negro. The 
^ blood oi them fpilt for th«fe many years in your re^^ 

* fpedive provinces will afcend up to heaven againll 

* you.* 
Some who have only ken Negroes in an abject ftate 

of flavery, brokcn-fpirited and dejeded, knowing 
nothing of their fituation in their native country, maiy 
apprehend, that they are naturally unfenfible of the 
benefits ot Liberty, being deiHture and miferabie in 
jgvery refped, and that our fuffering them to live 
amongft us (as the Gibeonites of old were permitted 
to live with the Ifraelites) tho' even oit moie oppref- 
five term, is to them a favour; but thcfe are certainly 
erroneous opinions, with refped to far the greateft 
part of them: Althq' it is highly probable that in a 
country which is more than three thoufand miles in 
extent from north to fouth, and as much from eaft to 
weft, there will be barren parts, and many inhabitants 
more uncivilized and barbarous than others; as is the 
cafe in all other countries : Yet, from the moft authentic 
;^ccountS, the inhabitantsqf Guinea appear, generally 
fpeaking, to be an induftrious,humane,fociable people, 
whofe capacities are naturally as enlarged, and as open 
to improvement, as thofe of the Europeans; and that 
their Country is fruitful, and in many places well im- 
proved, abounding in cattle, grain and fruits : And as 
I'^he earth yields ail the year round ?i frelli fupply of 


[ 13 1 

food, and b\jt little clcatbing is requifite, by reafon of 
rhe coiuir.uai warmth ot the cliinace-, the ncceiTaries 
or lite are much ealier procured-in mod parts or Atri- 
£a, than in our m.orc norther q dimes. This is con- 
fumed by many aiuhors oh m.H.£, who have r? Tided 
there; among others h'L Adanion, in his account of 
- Goree and Scne^^al, in the year i7;^4, lays, ' Which 
^ way ibever 1 lurned my eyes on this pleafant fpot, 
< I beheld a p^rte6l image of pure nature; an agree- 
^ able Iblitude, bounded on every fide by charming 

* landicapes, the rural fituation of cottages in the 
^ m id il: of trees; the eafe and indolence of the Ne- 

* groes reclined under the Tnade of their fpreading 

* iohage; the fimpiicity of their crefs and m.anners; 

* jhe whole revived in my miiid the idea of our mrir 

* parents, and i feemed to contemplate the world in 
^ its primitive ilute: they are^ generally fpeaking, ve- 

* ry good-natured, fociable and obliging. I was not 

* a little pleafed with this. my firfb reception; it con- 
^ vinced me, that there ought to be a confiderable 

* abatement made in the accounts I had read and heard 
« evervrVv^here of the fava^-e character of the Atricans, 

* I obi'ervgd, both in Negroes and Moors, great hu- 

* manitv and fociablenef^, which eave me (Irons Iiopes. 

* that I Ibou'd be very fafe amonglt them, and mete 

* with the facet fs I deiired, in my inquiries after the 
^ curiofities or the couutry.' 

William Bofman, a principal fador for the Dutch, 
who refided fixteen years in Guinea, fpeaking of ihe 
natives of that part, where he then was, fays, ' They 
' are generally a good fort of people, honeft in their 

* dealings;^ others he defcribes as ' being generally 

* friendly to flrangers, of a mild converlation, affable 
^ Hnd eaiy to be overcome with reafon/ He adds, 

' Th4t 

C H I 

^ That foiTie Negroes, who have had an agreeable 

* education, have manifefted a brightnefs of under- 

* (landing equal to any of us.' Speaking of the fruit- 
fuinefs of the country, he fays, * Itwas very populous, 

* plentifully provided with corn, potatoes and fruit, 

* which grew clofe to each other; in fome places a 

* foot-path is the only ground that is not covered with 

* them-, the Negroes leaving no place, which is 

* thought fertile, uncultivated •, and immediately af- 

* ter they have reaped, they are fure to fow again/ 
Other parts he deicribcs, as ' being full of towns and 

* villages; th^ foil very rich, and fo well cultivated 

* as to look like an entire garden, abounding in rice, 

* corn, oxen and poultry, and the inhabitants labo- 


William Smith, who was fentby the African Com- 
pany to vifit their fettlements on the coaft of Guinea, 
in the year 1726, gives much the fame accout of the 
country of Delmina and Cape Corfe, &c, for beauty 
and goodnefs, and adds, ' The more you come down- 

* ward towards that part, called Slave-Coaft, the more 

* delightful and rich the foil appears.' Speaking of 
their difpofition, he fays, ' They were a civil, good- 

* natured people, induilrious to the lad degree. It is 

* eafy to perceive what happy memories they are 
^ bleiTed with, and how great progrefs they would 

* make in the fciences, in cafe theit* genius was culti- 
^ vated with ftudy.' He adds, from the information 
he received of one of the Factors, who had rcfided ten 
years in that country, ' That the difcerning natives 

* account it their greateft unhappinefs, that they were 

* ever vifited by the Europeans. — That the Chrif- 
^ tians introduced the Traffick of Slaves; and that be^ 
^ fore our coming they lived in peace.' 


C 15 3 i 

Andrew Brue, a principal man in the French Fac- 
tory, in the account he gives of the great river Senegal, 
which runs many hundred miles up the country, tells 
his readers, * The farther you go from the fea, the 

* country on the river fcems more fruitful' and well 

* improved. It abounds in Guinea and Indian corn, 

* rice, pulfe, tobacco, and indigo. Here are vaft mea- 

* dows, which feed large herds of great and fmall 

* cattle; poultry are numerous, as well as wild 

* fowl.' The fame author, in his travels to the 
fouth of the river Gambia, expreffes his furprize, 'to 

* fee the land fo well cultivated ; fcarce a fpor lay un- 

* improved •, the low grounds, divided by fmall ca- 

* nals, were all fowed with rice ; the higher ground 

* planted with Indian corn, miller, and peas ot di tie- » 

* rent forts, beef and mutton very cheap, as well as 

* all other nccefTariesof life.' The account this author 
gives of the difpofuion of the natives, is, ' That they j 
' are generally good-nacurcd and civil, and may be ' 

* brought to any thing by fair and foft means.' Ar- 
tus, fpeaking of the fame people, fays, ^ They are a 

* fincere, inoffenfive people, and do no injuilice either 

* to one another or llransers. ' 

PVom thefe accounts, both of the good difpoficioia 
of the natives, and the fruitfulnefs of moft parts of 
Guinea, which arc confirmed by many other authors, 
it may well be concluded, that their acquaintance wirh 
the Europeans would have been a happinefs to them, 
had thofe lafl not only bore the name, but indeed been 
influenced by the fpirit of Chrillianity; but, alas ! 
how hath the condud of the Whites concradided the 
precepts and example of Chrifl ? Inflead of promoC(^- 
ing the end of his coming, by preaching the gofpel of 
peace and good- will to man, they have, by their prac- 


C i6 ] 

trees, contributed to enflame every noxious pafTion of 
corrupt nature in the Negroes ; they have incited them 
to make war one upon another, and tor this purpofe 
have furnifhed them with prodigious quantities of 
ammunition and armis, whereby they have been hurried 
into confufion, bJoodilied, and all the extremities of 
temporal mifery, which mull nccefiarily beget in their 
minds fuch a general deteftation and fcorn of the 
Chrifcian name, as may deeply affc6l, if not wholly 
preclude their belief of the great truths of our holy 
relio;ion. Thus an infatiable defirc of o;ain hath become 
the principal and moving caufe ot the moff abominable 
and dreadful fcene, that was perhaps ever adled upon 
the face of the earth •, even the power of their kings 
hath been made fubfervient to anfwer this wicked pur- 
pofe, inftead of being protedfors of their people, thefe 
rulers, allured by the tempting bait laid before them 
by the European Factors, &c. have invaded the Liber- 
ties of their unhappy fubje<5ls, and are become their 

Divers accounts, have already appeared in print de- 
clarative of the {hocking v;ickednefs with which this 
Trade is carried on *, thefe may not have fallen into 
the hands of fome of my readers, I (liall, therefore^ 
i-jr their information, fele6l a few of the mod remark- 
able inftances that I have met with, fhewing the 
method by which the Trade is conrimonly managed ail 
along the African coaft. 

Francis Moor, Fador to the African Company on 
the river Gambia, relates, ' That v/hen the King of 

• Barfalli wants goods, &c, he fends a meflenger to 

* the Englifh Governor at James' Fort, to defire he 
' v/ould fend up a Ooop with a cargo of goods ; which 
^ (fays the author) the Governor never fails to do: 

* againft 

t «7 ] 

* againft the time the veiTcI arrives, the King plunders 

* ioQic of his enemies towns, lelhng the people tor 

* iuth goods as he wantS;— li he is not at war with 

' any neighbouring King, he falls upon one of his jj 

* own towns', and aiakcb bold to fell his own mife- 

* Table fubjedts. * 

N. Srue, in his account of the Trade, &c. writes,- 
' That having received a quantity of goods, he w^rore 

* to the King of the country. That if he hadafufficicnc 

* number of flaveSi he was ready to trade with him. 

* This Prince (fays that author) as well as ether Ne- 

* groe Monarchy, has always a fureway of fupplying 

* his deficiencies by felling his own fubje^ls The 

* King had recourfe to this method^ by feizing three 

* hundred of his own people^ and fent word to Brue, 
' that he had the Haves ready to deliver for the goods.' 

The mifery and bloodllied^ confequenc of the Slave- 
Trade, is amply fet forth by the following extradls of 
twQ voyages to the Coaft ot Guinea for (laves. The 
firft in a vciTel fr©m Liverpool, taken verbatim fronx 
the original manufcript of the Surgeon*s journal, viz. 

* Sellro, December the 29th, 1724.. No trade to- 

* day, tho' many Traders come on board, they in- 

* iorm us, that the people are gone to war within 
' land, and will bring prifoners enough in two or, 

* three days*, in hopes of which we flay. 

' The 2Qth. No trade yet, but our Traders came ort 

* board to-day, and informed us, the people had burnt? 
' tour towns of their enemies, fo that to-m.orrow we 

* exped Qavcs off. Another large fhip is, come. in t 

* yelleiday came in a large Londoricr. 

• The 31ft. Fair weather, but no trade yet; we 

* fee each night towns burning ; but we hear the 

* Scftro men arc many of them killed by the inland 

Q * Negroes, 

[ I§ ] 

^'Negroes, fo that we fear this war will be unfuccefs- 

* ful. 

' The 2d January. Lad night we faw a prodi- 
' gious fire break out about eleven o'clock, and this 

* morning fee the town of Seftro burnt down to the 
^ ground, (it contained fome hundreds of hcufes) fo 

* that we find their enemies are too hard for them at 

* prefcnt, and confequently our trade fpoiled here •, 
' fo that about feven o'clock we weighed anchor, as 

* did likewifc the three other vefTcls to proceed lower 

* down.' 

The fecond relation, alfo taken from the original 
manufcript journal of a perfon of credit, who went 
Surgeon on the fame account, in a velTel from New- 
York to the Coaft of Guinea, about eighteen years 
paft, is as follows, viz» ' Being on the coaft at a place 

* called Bafalia, the Commander of the veirel,accord- 

* ing to cuftom, fent a perfon on lliore with a prefent 
' to the King, acquainting him with his arrival, and 

* letting him knov*^, they wanted a cargo of flaves. 

* The King promifed to furnilli them with (laves, 
' and in order to do it, fet out to go to war againft 

* his enemies, deiigning aifo to furprize fome town, 
' and take all the people prifoners : Sometime after, 

* the King fent them word, he had not yet met with 

* the defired fuccefs, having been twice repulfed, in 

* attempting to break up two towns ; but that he ftill 

* hoped to procure a number of flaves for them ; and 

* in this delign he perfifted till he met his enemies in 
« the field, where a battle was fought, which lafted 

* three days, during which time the engagement was 

* fo bloody, that four thoufand five hundred men 

* were (lain on the fpot.' The perfon, that wrote the 
account, beheld the bodies as they lay on the field 


C 19 ] 

of battle. * Think (Hays he in h\s journal) what a piti- 

• able fight it was, to fee the widows weeping over 
' their loft huil>ands orphans deploring the lofs of 

* their fathers, &c. &c. ' 

Thofe, who are acquainted with the Trade, agree, 
that many Negroes on the fea-coail, \vho have been 
corrupted by their intercourfe and eonverfe with the' 
European Fadf ors , have learnt to ftick at no a6l of 
cruelty for gain. Thele make it apradice to fteal 
abundance of little Blacks of both fexes, when found, 
on the roads or in the fields, where their parents keep 
them all day to watch the corn, &c. Some authors 
fay, the Negroe Faflors go fix or (even hundred miles 
up the country with goods, bought from the Euro- 
peans, where markets of men are kept in the fame 
manner as thofe of beafts with us •, when the poor 
flaves, whether brought from far or near, come to the 
fea-fhore, they are dripped naked, and ftrid:ly exa- 
mined by the European Surgeons, both men and wo- 
men, without: the lead did inclion or modefly ; thofe 
which are approved as good, are marked with a red-. 
hot iron witii the fliip's mark, after which they, are 
put on board the vedels, the men being iliackled v/ith 
irons two and two together. Reader bring the matter 
home, and confider v>'hetherany fituation in life can be 
more completely miferable than that of thofe dif- 
trefied captives. When we refled:, that each indivi- 
dual of this number had fome tender attachment 
which was broken by this cruel fepararion ; fome pa- 
rent or wife, who had not an opportunity of minglinn' 
tears in a parting embrace : perhaps fome infant Qr 
aged parent whom his labour was to feed and vigi- 
lance protect^ themfelves under the dreadful appre- 
heiifion of an unknown perpetual fiavery ; pent up 

C 2 wichirt 

[ 20 ] 

Wjthin the narrow confines of a vefiel, fometime!? fi.Y 
or feven hundred together, where they lie as clofe ag 
poffible. Under thele complicated di(\Teik.s they are 
often reduced to aflate of derperation, wherein many 
have leaped into the fea, and have kept themfelves un- 
der water, till they were drowned ^ otht-rshavcfTarvcd 
themfelves to death, for the prevention whereof fome 
xTiaflers of veffels have cut oft the legs and arms of a 
num/oer of thofe poor defperate creatures, to terrify 
the reft. Great niim.bers have alfo frecuentlv been 
killed, and fome creliherately put to death under the 
gr(:ai!_ft torture, when they have attempted to rife, in 
,, ^rder to free, themfelves from their prefcnt mifery,and 
';■ the flavery defigned them, An inftance of the iaft 
kind appears particularly in sn account given by the 
|,./ fniifter of a VcITel, who brought a cargo of Haves to 
Earbadov, indeed it appears fo irreconcileable to the 
common diftates of humanity, that one would doubt 
r.hc truth of it, had it not been related by a ferious 
;]^erfon of undoubted credit, who had it from the cap- 
tain\'; own mouth. Upon an inquiry, What had been 
the fijccefs of his voyage? He anfwered, ' That he 
' had found it a dillicult matter. to fet the Negroes a 

* fighting; with e?.ch other, in order to prorure tlie 

* number he v/anted-, but that when he h^d obtained this 
' end, and had got his vtffd filled with flaves,anewdif- 
' ficulty arofe from their rcfufal to take food ; thofe 
' defperate creatures chufing rather to die with hun- 
^ ger, than to be Carried from their native country/ 
Upon a farther inquiry, by what means he had pre- 
vailed upon them to forego this defperate refolution, 
he anfv/ered, ' That he obliged all the Negroes to 

* come upon deck, where they perfifl'ing in their re- 
f folution of not taking food, he caufed his failors to 


* lay hold upon one of themoft obdinatf, and chopt 

* the poor crenture into fnnall pieces, forcing feme of 

* the others to eat a part of the mangled body ; with- 
^ al fwearing to the furvivors, that he would ufe then^ 

* all, one after the other, in the fame manner, if they 

* did not confent to eat/ This horrid execution he 
applauded as a good act, it having had the defired ef- 
fttl-y in bringing them to take food. 

A fimilar cafe is mentioned in Aftley's Collecfiiora 
of Voyages, by John Atkins, Surgeon on board Ad- 
miral Ogle's fquadron, ^ Of one Harding^ mafler of 

* a vciTei, in which fe'^ral of the men-flaves, and a 
' woman-flave, had attempted to rife, in order to re- 
' cover their liberty ; fome of whom tiie mafter, of 

* his own authority, fencenced to cruel death; making 

* them firil eat the heart and liver ot one of thofe he 

* killed. The woman he hoifted by the thumbs ; 
' whipped and Hafhed with knives before the other 
^ Haves, till fhe died. ' 

As deteilable and fiiocking as this may appear td 
fuch, whofe hearts are not yet hardened by the prac- 
tice of that cruelty, v/hich the love of wealth, by de- 
grees, introduceth iritothe human mind ; it will not be 
ftrange to thofe who have been concerned or employ- 
ed in the Trade. Now here arifes a neceffary query to 
thofe who hold the ballance and fword of jufticc; and 
who muft account tv God for the uft they have made 
of it. Since our EngliJJj law is fo truly valuable for its 
juftice^ how can they overlook thefe barbarous deaths 
of the unhappy Africans without trial, or due proof 
of their l^eing guilty, of crimes adequate to their pu- 
nifhment? Why are thofe mailers of veffels (who are 
often not the mod tender and confiderate of men) 
thus fuffered to be the fovereign arbiters of the livens 


C 22 3 

of the mherable Negroes; and allowed, with impuni- 
ty, thus to deftroy, may I not fay, murder their fellow- 
creatures, and that by means fo cruel as cannot be 
even related but with fhame and horror. 

When the vefTels arrive at their deftined port in 
the Colonies, the poor Negroes are to be difpofed of 
to the planters, and here they are again expofed naked, 
without any diilin6tion of fexes, to the brutal exami- 
Bation of their purchafersj awd this, it may well be judg- 
ed is to many of them another occafion of deep dillrefs, 
elpecially to the females : Add to this, that near con- 
' ncdions mud now again be feparated, to go with their 
feveral purchafers : In this melancholy fcene mothers 
are feen hanging over their daughters, bedewing their 
naked breads with tears, and daughters clinging to 
their parents ; not knowing what new ftage of didrefs 
mud follow their Reparation ; or if ever they fhall 
ineet again •, and here what fympathy, what commife- 
ration are they to exped; why indeed, if they will not 
fcparate as readily as their owners think proper, the 
wliipper is called for, and the lafh exercifed upon their 
oaked bodies, till obliged to part. 

Can any human heart, that retains a fellow-feeling 
for the fufferings of mankind, be unconcerned at re- 
lations of fuch grievous affiidion, to which this op- 
prcfftd part of our fpecies are fubjeded: God gave to 
Rian dominion over the fifh of the fea, and over the 
fowls of the air, and over the cattle, &c. but im,- 
pofcd no involuntary fubjedion of one man to another. 

The truth of this pofuioa, has of late been clearly fee 
forth by perfons of reputation and ability, particularly 
George Waliis, in his Sydem of the Laws of Scotland, 
whofc fenrin-ients are fo worthy the notice of all con- 
frJerate perfons, that I fhall here repeat a partofwhai 


r ^3 ] 

he has not long fmce publifhed, concerning the Afri- 
can Trade, viz. ' If this trade admits of a moral or a 
* rational juftification, every crime, even the mofc 
' atrocious, may be juftified : Government was indi- 
tuted for the good of mankind. Kings, Princes, Go- 
vernors are not proprietors of thofe who are fub* 
jedted to their authority, they have not a right to 
make them miferable. On the contrary, their au- 
thority is veiled in them, that they may by the juH 
exercife of it, promote the happinefs of their peo- 
ple: Of courfe, they have not a right to difpofe of 
their Liberty, and to fell them for flaves : Befides, no 
man has a right to acquire or to purchafe them ; 
men and their Liberty are not either faleable or 
purchafable, one therefore has no, body but himfelf 
to blame, in cafe he ihall find himfelf deprived of a 
man, whom he thought he had, by buying for a 
price, made his own • for he dealt in a trade which 
was illicit, and was prohibited by the moft obvious 
didates of humanity. For thefe reafons, every one 
of thofe unfortunate men, v/ho are pretended to be 
Haves, has a right to be declared to be free, for he 
never loft his Liberty, he could not lofe it ; his 
Prince had no power to difpofe of him : of courfe 
the fale was void. This right he carries about with. 
him, and is entitled every where to get it declared. 
As foon, therefore, as he comes into a country, iii 
which the judges are not forgetful of their ov/n hu- 
manity, it is their duty to remember that he is a 

man, and to declare him to be free This is the law 

of nature, which is obligatory on all men, at all 
times, and in all places.— Would not any of us, 
who fhould be fnatched by pirates from his native 
land, think himfelf cruelly abufed, and at all times in- 

' titled 

[ ^4 ] 
« titled to be free ? Have not thcfe unfortunate Afri-* 

* cans, who meet with the fame cruel fate, the fame 
' right ? Are not they men as well as we, and have 

* they not the fame lenfibility ? Let us not, therefore.^ 

* dciend or iupporr a ufagc, which is contrary to all 

* the laws of humanity.' 

Francis Hutchilbn, alfo in his Syflem of Moral 
Phllofophy, fpeaking on the fubjedt of Slavery, fays, 

* He who detains another by torce in flaveryj is al- 

* ways bound to prove his titled The fiave fold or 

* carried away into a diftant country, muft not be 
' obliged to prove a negative, That he never forfeited 
*• his Liberty. The violent pofTefTor muft, in all, ca^ 
«• fes, fhew his title, el'pecially where the old proprie- 

* tor is well known. In this cafe each man is the ori- 
' ginal proprietor of his own Liberty : The proof of 

* his iofmg it muft be incumbent on thofe, who de* 

* prived him of it by force. Strange, (fays the fame 

* author) that in any nation, where a fenfe of Liberty 
*• prevails, where the Chriftian religion is profeffed, 
' cuftom and high profped of gain can fo ftupify the 
*• confciences of men, and all fenfe of natural juftice, 
^ that they can 'hear fuch computation made about 

* ,the value of their feilow-men and their liberty, with- 
*• rut abhorence and indignation.' 

The noted Baron Montefquieu gives it, as his opi* 
nlon, in his Spirit ofLaWy page 34.^, ' That nothing 
*• more affimilates a man toabeaftihan living amongft 
' freemen, himfeif a (lave, fuch people as theie are the 

* natural enemies of fociety, and their number muft 
*• always be dangerous/ 

The author of a pamphlet, lately printed in Lon- 
don, entituled. An Effay in Vindication of the Conii^ 
mntal Coknies of America^ writes, * That the bondage 

' we 

£ 25 J 

'* we have impofed on the Africans, is abfolutely re'- 

* pugnant to juftice. That it is highly inconfiitent S>nih 
' civil policy: Firii, as it tends to fupprefs all ims. 
' provemeiwts in arts and fciences ; without which in 

* is morally impoilioie that any nation inould he 
*" happy or powerful. Secondly, as it may deprave the 
' minds of the freemen ; lleeling. their hearts againil 
^ the laudable leelings of virtue and humanity. And, 
*^ lailly, as it endangers the community by the de- 
' ftructive eiFects of civil commotions, need I add to 
*' thefe, (fays that author) what every heart, which is 

* not callous to all tender teelrngs, will readily fug- 
' geit; that it is fhocking to humanity, violative of 

* every generous fcntiment, abhorrent utterly from 

* the Chriilian religion ; for asMontefquieu very juft- 

* ly obferves, We mufi fiifpofe them not to he men, or 
' ^ fiifficion would follow that vjs curfelves are not' 

* Chr'iftians.-^^Thtxt cannot be a more dangerous 
' maxim, than that necelTity is a plea for injuitice. For 
^ who fhall fix the degree of this neceffity? Whac 
' villain fo atrocious, v/ho may not urge this excufe ;^ 

* or, as Milton has happly expreffed ir. 

And with neceff.ty 

^ The tyrant'' s plea^ excufe his dcv^uJJj deed? 

* ThatourColonies want people^, is a very weakargu- 

* ment for fo inhuman a violation of juilice. — Shull 

* a civilized, a Chriftian nation encourage flavery, be- 
' caufe rhe barbarous, favage, lawlelV African ^ hath 
'done ir? Monftrous thought 1 To v/hat end do we 

* profefs a religion whole dictates we fo tiagrantly vio- 

* late? Wherefore have we chat pattern of goodnefs 

* and humanity, if we refufe to follow it ? Flow long 

* fhall we continue a pradice, which policy rejedls^ 
,* juftice condemns, and pitty diilyades ? Shall the 

[ a6 }. 

< Americans perfill in a condud, which cannot be juf- 
« tified •, or perfevere in oppreflion from which their 
« hearts muft recoil ? It' the barbarous Africans fliall 

* continue to enQave each other let the daemon flave- 

* ry remain among them, that their crime may in- 
^ elude its own punilliment. Let not ChriHians, by 

* adminiftring to their wickednefs, confefs their re- 

* iigion to be a uielefs refinement, their profefiion vain, 

* and themfelves as as thelavages they deteft.* 
James Fofl:er, in his Difcourfes on Natural Religion 

and Social Virtue^ alfo fhews his juil indignation at this 
wicked practice, which he declares to be a criminal 
and outrageous violation of the natural right cf mankind. 
At page 156, 2 vol. he fays, ' Should we have read 

* concerning the Greeks or Romans of old, that they 
' traded, with view to make fiaves of their own fpe- 

* cies, whom they certainly knew tiiat this would in- 

* volve in fchemes of blood and murder, of deftroying 

* or endaving each other,that they even fomented wars, 
' and engaged whole nations and tribes in open hofti- 

* lities, for their own private advantage ; that^they 

* had no deteRation of the violence and cruelty ; but 
' only feared the ill fuccefs of their inhuman enter- 
' prifes; that they carried men Hke themfelves, their 

* brethren, and the ofF-fpring of the fame common 

* parent, to be fold like beafts of prey, or beaffs of 

* burden, and put them to the fame reproachful trial, 
' of their foundnefs, flrength and capacity for greater 

* bodily fervice; that quite forgetting and renounce- 
' ing the original dignity of human nature, commu- 

* nicated to ail, the/ treated them with more feveri- 

* ty and ruaer difcipline, than even the ox or the afs, 

* who are void of underilanding, — iliould v/e not, if 

* this had been the cafe, have naturally been led to 

^ defpifc 

C 37 ] 

* defpile all their pretended refinements of morality i 
' and to have concluded, that as they were not nations 

* deftitutc of poiiceneis, they muft have been entire 

* ftrangers to virtue and benevolence, 

' But, noiwithftanding this, we ourfelves (who pro- 

* fefs to be Chriftians, and boaft of the pecuhar ad- 
vantage we enjoy^ by means of an exprels revelation 
of our duty from heaven) are in effed:, thefe very 
untaught and rude heathen countries. With all our 
fuperior light, we inftil into rhofe, whom we call 
favage and barbarous, the mofb defpicable opinion 
of human nature. We, to the utmoll of our power, 
v;^xaken and dilTolve the univerfal tie, that binds 
and unites mankind. We pradice what we fhould 
exclaim againft, as the utmoft excels of cruelty and 
tyranny, if nations of the world, differing in colour, 
and form of government from ourfelves, were {o 
poflefled of empire, as to be able to reduce us to a 
ftate of unmerited and brutilli fervitude. Of confe- 
quence, we facrince our reafon, our humanity, our 
Chrifti%inity, to an unnatural fordid gain. Wc teach 
other nations to defpife and trample under foot, all 
the obligations of focial virtue. We take the mod: 
cfFedual method to prevent the propagation of the 
gofpel by reprefenting it as a fcheme of power and 
barbarous oppreffion, and an enemy to the natural 
privileges and rights of men. 

'. Perhaps all, that 1 have now offered, may be of 
very little weight to redrain this enormity, this ag- 
gravated iniquity. However, I Hiall ftul have the U- 
tisfadlion, of having entered my private proteft 
againft a practice which, in my opinion, bids that 
God, who is the God and Father of the gentiles,, un- 
converted to Chrilfianity, moil daring and bold 
D z * deliance, 

[ ^8 ] 

^ defiance, and fpiirns at all the prlriC'ois^r, both of na* 
* tiTa^ and revealed religion.' 

How rh.c Britilli nation fird came to be concerned 

in a pracLJce, by which the rights and liberties of man-^ 

j .. kind are ^o violently infringed, and which is fo oppo- 

' lite to the anprehenfionf. EngliUvmen have ahvays had 

of what natural jiiftiiie requires, is ineiecd iurprifing. 

It wan about the year 1563, in the leign of CXieen 

P^iizaberh, that the Englifh firll engaged in the Gui- 

j. ., Ilea 1 Tade \ v/hen it appearSj from an account in Hilf's 

IVaval HiftcfV'. page 293, That when Captain Haw- 

k'ns returned from his iirit voyage to Africa, that ge- 

rrrous fpirited Princefs, attentive to the inrereil of 

li. r fubjedls, fent for the Comniander, to whom £hit 

expreired her concern left any of the African Negroes 

&ou]d be carried off without their free confent, J^c/.'?- 

iply v/ith the Qli 
ihclefs, we fiad in the -account, given in the lame 
Hiftory, of Hawkins' fecond voyage, the author 
ufing tbcfe remarkable words. Here hegm the horrid 
fra^ke of forcing the Africans into fUviry. 

Labut, a Roman Miirionary,'in his account of the 
IQes of America, at page 114, of the .4rh vol. mentions, 
th:.t Lewis the i^th, father to i\\c prefent French 
^King's grand father, was exiremely uneafy at a law 
by v/hich ail the Negroes of his Coipnies v/ere to hz 
made flaves; but it being. ftrongly urged to him, as 
the readjefl: means for then- converfion to Chriftiamty, 
he acquiefced therewith. 

And akho' we have not many accounts of the im- 
preiTjons which this piratical invafion of the rights of 
ipankind, gave to ferious minded people, v/hen firif 


[ 29 1 

igngaged in ♦, yet it did not efcape the notice of fome, 
Vvho might be efceemcdin a peculiar manner as watch- 
men in their day to the different focietles of Chrif- 
jians, whereunto they belonged. Richard Baxter, an 
eminent preacher amongft the Nonconformifts, in the 
JAil century, wcii known and particularly efleemed by 
mod of the ferious Prefbycerians and Independents, 
in his Chnitian Diredory nioiliy, wrote about an 
hundred years ago, fully fnews his deteftation of this 
practice in the following words, *■ Do you not mark 

* how God ^hath followed you with plagues, and may 

* not confcierce tell you, that it is tor your inhuma- 

* nity to th^ fouls and bodies of men.— — To go as 
' pirates and catch up poor Negroes, or people of an- 

* other land that never forfeited life or liberty, and to 
' make them Haves, and fell them, is one of the word 

* kind of thievery in the world, and fuch perfons are 
^ to be taken for the comiiion entmies of mankind; 
'* and they that buy them, and ufe them as beafts, for 
*• their meer commodity, and betray, or deftroy, or 
■^ negled their fouls, are titter to be called devils than 
-^ Chriftians. It is an heinous fin to buy them, unlefs 

* it be in charity to deliver them. Undoubtedly 

* they are prefently bound to deliver them •, becaufe 
^ by right the maan is his own -, therefore no man elie 
/ can have ajufl title to him.' 

We alfo find George Fox, a man of exemplary 
piety, who was the principal inftrument in gathering 
the religious fociety of people, called Quakers, e?f- 
prelTing his concern and fellow-feeling tor the bondage^., 
of the Negroes: Inadifcourfetaksn froni his mouth, in 
Barbados, in the year i^yijfiys, ' Confidcr withyour- 
^ felves, if you were in the fame condition as the Blacks 
# are, — who came ftrangers to y ou,and were fold to you 

* as 

I! \ 

C 3^ 1 
as fiaves. I fay, if this fliould be the condition of 
you or yours J you would think it hard meafure. Yea, 
and very great bondage and cruelty. And, there- 
fore, confider feriously of this, and do you for and 

* to them, as you would willingly have them, or any 
*■ other, to do unto you, were you in the like ilavidi 
^ condition -, and bring them to know the Lord Chrift/ 
And in his journal, .p<'ige43i, fpeaking ol the advice 
he gave his friends at Barbados, he fays, ' I defired 
' alio, that they would caufe their overfeers to deal 

* mildly and gently with their Negroes, and not to 

* iifi: cruelty towards them, as the manner of fome 
' had been, and that after certain years of fervitudc 
*^ they fhould make them free. " 

In a book printed in Liverpool, called The Liver" 
pool 3Iemoranauf?t'hGokj which contains, among other 
Lliings, an account of the trade of that port, there is 
an exa£t lift of t,he veflels employed in the Guinea 
trade, and of the number of Slaves imported in each 
vrffel^ by which it appears, that in the year 1753^ the 
pumber imported to America, by veflels belonging to 
that port, amounted to upwards of thirty thoufand.^ 
and from the number of veffels employed by the Afri- 
car. Company in London and B-riftol, we may, with 
forciC degree of certainty, conclude, there is, at 
leaft, One Hundred Thoufand Negoes purchafed and 
brought on board our iliips yearly from the coaft of 
Africa, on their account. This is confirmed in Aa- 
dderfon's Hiflory of Trade and Commerce, printed the 
year before lall:> where it is faid, at page 68 of the 
Appendix, ' ^hat Eiwhnd fuppUes her ylmerican Co- 

* lonies wjtb Nc^ro-flaves, amounting in fiamher to 

* akrdc One Hundred -Thoufand every year. ' When the 
vrHl4s are full freiglitcd with (laves, they fet out for 


[ 31 ] 
6UT plantations in America, and may b^ two orthree 
months on the voyage, during which time, frojn the 
filth and flench that is among tl^i^m, diilempers fre- 
quently break out, which carry otT a great many, a 
fifth, a fourth, yea Ibmetimes a third of them; fo thai: 
taking all the flaves together that are brought on board 
our ihips yearly, one may reafonably luppole, that at 
leafl ten thouland of them die on the voyage. And ia 
a printed account of the State of the Negroes in our 
plantations, it is fuppofed that a fourth part, more or 
lels, die at the different Ifiands, in what is called the 
fcafoning. Hence it may be prefumed, that, ar a mo- 
derate computation of the ilaves, who are purchaleii 
by our African merchants in a year, near thirty thou- 
fands die upon the voyage and in the feafoning. Add 
to this, the prodigious number who are killed in the 
i ncurfions and intefl:lne wars, by which the Negroes 
procure the number of ilaves wanted to load the vef- 
fe!s : How dreadful then is this Slave-Trade, vj^herebr 
fo many thoufands of our fejlow^-creatures, free bv 
nature, endued with the fame rational faculties, and 
called to be heirs of the lame falvation with us, lofc 
their lives, and are truly, and properly fpeaking, mur- 
dered every year. For it is not neceffary, in order to 
convi6l a mian of murder, to make it appear, that h*:; 
had an intention to commie murder. Vv^hoever does, 
by unjuil force or violence, deprive another of his Li^ 
berty ; and, while he has him in his power, reduces him 
by cruel treatment, to fuch a conditioji as evidently en- 
dangers his life ^ and the event occafions his death, is 
adually guilty of murder. It is no IcCs fhockingro read 
th^ accounts given by Sir Hans Sloan, and others, 
of the inhuman and unmerciful treatment thofe Blacks 
liiect with, who furvivc the feafoning in iIk lilands, 


C 32 ] 

often for tranrgrefTions, to which the puniihrrlenttfiejr' 
receive bears no proportion. ' And the horrid exccu- 
* tions, which are irequenily made there upon difco- 
' very of the plots laid by the blacks, for the recovery 
' of their liberty •, of fome they break the bones, whilli 

f * alive, on a wheel j others they burn or rather roail 

i ^ to death; others they itarve to death, with a loaf 
' hanging before their mouths.' Thus they are brought 
to expire, with irighitui agonies, in the moil: horrid 
tortures. For negligence only they are unmerciiully 
whipped, till their backs are raw, and than pepper and 
fait is fcattered on the wounds to heighten the paia 
and prevent mortification. Is 'it not^ a caufe of much 
forrow and lamentation, that fo many poor creatures 
iliould be thus rack'd with excruciating tortureSj for 
crimes which often their tormentors have occafioned : 

j Muft not even the com.mon feelings ot human nature 
have fuffered fqme grievous change in thofe men, to 
be capable of fuch horrid cruelty, towards their fel- 
lownien ? If they deferve death, ought not their 
judges, in the death decreed them, always to renjem- 
bcr that thefe their haplefs fellow-creatures are men, 
and themfelves profeffing Chriilians. TheMofaic law 

I teaches us our duty in thefe cafes, in the merciiul pro- 
vifion it made in the punifliment of tranfgreffors, 
Deuter. xxv. 2. .^r/d it fball be^ if the wicked man he 
vjorthy to he beaten^ that the judge jlo all caufe him to lie 
down, &}>d to be beaten before his face, according to his 

I fault, by a certain number. Forty fir ipes he may gin: e him 
and not exceed. And the reafon rendered is out oi re- 

I fpe6l to human nature, viz. Lef if he Jkould exceed^ 

' and beat him above thefe, with many ftripes, then thy 
brother fhould feem vile unto thee, Britons boafl them- 
felves to be a generous^ humane people, who have a true 


[ 33 } 
fenfe of the importance of Liberty ; but is this a true= 
6hara6t©r, whiift that barbarous, favage Slave-Trade, 
with all its attendant horrors, receives countenance 
and protection from the Legiflature, whereby fo ma- 
ny thoufand lives ire yearly facrificed. Do we indeed 
believe the truths declared in the gofpel ? Are we per- 
fuaded that the threatnings, as well as the promifes 
therein contained, will have their accomplifhment ? If 
indeed we do, muft we not tremble to think what a load 
of guilt lies upon ourNation generally and individu- 
ally, fo far as we in any degree abet or countenance 
this aggravated iniquity. 

We have a memorable inflance in hlilory, which 
may be fruitful of initruclion, if timely and properly 
applied ; it is a quotation made by Sir John Temple, 
in his hiftory of the Iriih rebellion, being an obfer- 
yation out of Giraldus Cambrenfis, a noted author, 
who lived about fix hundred years ago, concerning 
the caufes of the profperity of the Englidi unckrtake- 
ings in Ireland, when they conquered that IQand, he 
faith, ' That a fynod, or council of the Clergy, being 

* then afiembled at Armagh, and that point fully de- 

* bated, it was unanimously agreed, that the fins of 

* the people were the occafion ofthatheavyjudgmenc 

* then fallen upon their nation •, and that efpecially 

* their buying of Engliflimen from merchants and pi- 

* rates, and detaining them under a mod miferable- 

* hard bondage, had caufed the Lord, by way of jull 

* retaliation, to leave them to he reduced, by the 

* Englifli, to the fame flate of flavery. Whereupon 

* they made a public ad in that council, that all the 

* Englifh, held in captivity throughout the v/hole 
' land, fliould be preiently reftored to their former 

* Liberty.' 

[ 34 3 

I lliall now conclude with an extraA frorn an aci- 
drefs of a late author to the merchants, and others, 
who are concerned in carrying on the Guinea Trade : 
Which alio, in a great meafure, is applicable to others, 
who, tor the love of gain, are in any v/ay concerned 
in promoting or majntiiining the captivity of the Ne- 

' As the bufmefs, you are publicly carrying on 

* before the world,, has a bad afpecl, and you arc fcn- 
' fible mod men make objection againft it, you ought 

* to juilify it to the world, upon principles of reafon, 

* equity and humanity ; to make it appear, that it is 
^ no unjufl: inyafion of the perfons, or encroachments 

* on the rights of men j or for ever to lay it afide.— ^ 

* But laying afide the refentnnent of men, which is 

* but of little or no moment in comparifpn with that 

* of the Almighty, think qf a future reckoning : con- 
f fider how you fhall come off in the great and awful 

* day ofaccompt: You now heap up riches and live 

* inpleafure; but, oh! what will you dq in the end 

* tiicreof ? and that is nqt far off: what, if death Ihould 

* fcize upon you, and hurry you out of this world, un- 

* der all that load of blood-gpiltinefs, that now lies 
f upon your fouls ? The gofpel exprefsly declares, that 

* thieves and murderers fhall not inherit the kingdom 
i of God. Confider, that at the fame time, and by 
^ the fame means, you now treafure up worldly riches, 

* you are treafu ring up to yourfelves wrath, againft 

* the day of wrath, and vengeance that fhall come 

* upon the workers of iniquity, unlefs prevented by 

* a timely repentance. 

' And what greater iniquity, what crirnc that is 
f more heinous, chat carriers in it more complicated 
! guilt, c^n you name than that, in the habitual, dg- 

- ' ' ' liberate 

J i 35 3 

liberate praftice oF which you now live ? How cau 
you lift up your guilty eyes to heaven ? How can 
you pray for mercy to him that made you, or hope 
for any favour from him that formed you, while you 
go on thus grofsly and openly to diflionour him, in 
debafmg and deftroying the nobleft workmanlhip of 
his hands in this lower, world? He is the father of 
men -, and do you think he will not refent fuch 
treatment of his offspring, whom he hath fo loved, 
as to give his only begotten Son, that whofoever be- 
Ifeveth in him, might not perifh,.but have everlafting 
life ? This love of God to man, revealed in the 
gofpel, is a great aggravation of your guilt ; for if 
God fo loved us, we ought alfo to love one another. 
You remember the fate of the fervant, who took 
hold of hisfellow-fervant, who was in his debt, by 
the throat, and caft him into prifon : Think then, 
and tremble to think, what will be your fate, who 
take your fellow-fervants by the throat, that owe you 
not a penny, and make them prifoners for life. 
* Give yourfelves leave to refled impartially upon, 
and confider the nature of, this Man-Trade, which, 
if you do, your hearts muft needs relent, if you have 
not loft all fenfe of humanity, all pity and compaf- 
fion towards thofe of your ov/n kind, to think what 
calamities, what havock and deftrudion among 
them, you have been the authors of, for filthy lucre's 
fake. God grant you may be fenfible of yourguilt> 
and repent in time. '